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Thursday, September 16, 2010

13 Years of Non-Planned Existence

• Development marred by indecision and inaction

• 9,785 sq. mtrs of land under question

• Half of planned period is over yet no sign of implementation


Five successive government in state and three in civic body could not bring about a planned development in the merged villages. Even as Baner-Pashan flourish with posh localities, the infrastructure suffers because of vested interests.

The infrastructure in the city is backbone for the any new growth for the city. Therefore it is one area where any local administration or government is supposed to fix its eye on. However, the city of Pune has another fate. On the one hand it was thrust on the super-speeding highway of developments in the field of information technology and bio-technology as well as other burgeoning industry sectors.

On the other hand, there is hardly any systematic plan for the development of city areas. The development plan of the city is gathering dust in the government corridors and unchecked structures are dotting the city lines. This can not be more true in anything than the political tamasha over the development plan of the city.

The draft prpposal of the Development Plan of 23 additional villages, which were added in city limits in 1997, is waiting for the ratification by the state government. It has seen five successive governments promising to release it from the shackles of red-tapism but hardly anything is done over it. It is an open secret that the political games played for delaying the approval of the draft are taking place only to salvage the land for constructions, which currently falls under various reservations.

The land in question is admeasured 9,785 sq. mtrs. The plan is either revoke these reservations or change them. During the tenure of Manohar Joshi, who headed a government of Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine, 38 villages were attached to the limits of Pune Municipal Corporation. In a bid to stop the ruling combine taking credit of this move, the Congress party raised voice of the villages being taxed heavily. This ignited a furious protest from the villagers. This further divided the populace in two groups: newly moved residents welcomed the merger of the villages while original habitants opposed the idea.

Meanwhile, two years passed on. After the Congress government came to power in state, a decision was taken to remove 10 villages totally and five partially from the list of merged villages. A DP for PMC with the 23 additional villages was envisaged since Oct. 2001.

The draft DP was published in 2002 with marking for reservation of lands viz. residential zone, industriacl zone, Bio-Diversity Parks, schools, hospitals etc. The functionaries of PMC claimed that is has been prepared taking into consideration growth of the city for next 20 years. Citizens and organizations filed their suggestions, grievances on the draft and after modification, the General Body of PMC approved the DP in December 2005. The DP then was sent to state government for ratification and is in cold storage since then.

A large part of this land has been earmarked for the BDP. In the first stage, four percent of that reservation has been wiped out by the babus in Mantralaya. In a meeting which took place on June 9, the idea of four percent constructions in BDP was accepted in principle. However, because of this four percent change, the total DP has to be changed by more than 10 percent. It also means that the DP will have to be prepared once again and whole procedure has to be carried again.

This holdup renders the DP meaningless. A plan which was said to be made with a consideration for 20 years has already lived its 12 years without approval. Now with another procedure in the offing and indispensable, the Puneites will have to live with the hard fact that they lived at least two decades without any planning. So much for the Detroit of the East!

Who is Affected

The glaring example of how the indecision in the DP is affecting the lives of common people in Baner, Pashan and nearby areas is Otta Market scheme. An Otta Market was proposes to be constructed on Survey No 88/A which is a residential area according to the DP. This market is supposed to contain hawkers, vegetable vendors etc from all over the Pune making it one of the big markets in the city. The Survey No 77 in Baner was reserved for this market place.

The Survey No 77 is already a Commercial Place and easily accessible from main Baner Road. However, the PMC shifted the market place from S. No. 77 to S. No. 85/A by passing a resolution in GB in Sept last year without citing any reason. The work begun hastily despite objections rby citizens. According to JNNURM guidelines, the citizens to be affected by the market should be consulted before any changes. But citizens are kept in dark regarding the whole development. This suggests that something is fishy about the whole work and lots of powerful people might have their interest in this.

However, in a meeting held last month under the aegis of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, the decision to alter the reservations in Baner-Pashan area was cancelled. A decision was taken to allow ‘in principle’ cancellation of BDP reservations and allow four percent FSI in the meeting. What this means is that a person having five thousand sq. ft. of land will be able to construct 200 sq. ft building there. Since the meeting concluded with the changing BDP reservation in zones, the entire process of DP has to be implemented by PMC which might take another two to three months by conservative estimate.

The original otta market was planned at Survey No 77 with a cost of Rs 1,75,47,682 on August 26, 2008. The resolution was passed by the PMC’s standing committee.

However, the PMC later found out that Survey No 77 was reserved for ‘municipal purposes’ and so the standing committee passed another resolution on September 17, 2008 to shift the original tender to Survey No 85/A. A point to be noted is, the civic administration did not know what they were supposed to do on Survey No 77!

The problem is that Survey No 85/A is residential zone and the otta market’s that has been constructed in the area should have ideally been a park.

The citizens argued that making a complex under the garb of otta market will create too much traffic in the area. It will also destroy the greenery in the area. Hence, they protested vehemently against the plan.

Another example of how the delay in approval of DP is causing severe problems to the citizens is DP road. The Baner DP road is under construction for last ten years but hardly anything is done in this regard. Since the plan is yet to get an official approval, the work of the road is still uncomplete.

1 comment:

  1. The basic ideal of bdp is based on illogical ideas,non feasible, unpracticable plan and very cunning and shrewed way of misusing taxpayers' money. There is high pollution in the city center and the dirty drainage called river Mutha is flowing through the city.60 % untreated water flows to Ujjani dam which faces the same fate. The DP of 23 fring village is pending for last 5 years due to dirty politics of politicians.It seems like very high level conspiracy of taking lands of middle class plot owners and hand them over to MNCs for the constructions of ammusements parks hify gims, spas and clubs for high society big guns.If the NGOs who are supporting BDP reservations wanted to make BDPs they could take 622 hector vacant govt. lands and make atleast one BDP sample / pilot project to prove their point. Instead they are eager to snach our lands and misuse taxpayers' money. State govt. has taken a good decision of scrapping BDP. Congratulations. Please stick to that Mr. C.M. saheb.